How to Survive Mother’s Day!

Mother’s Day is Almost Here

How can you not be reminded Mother’s Day is fast approaching!  There are the never ending TV commercials, bright displays in the stores and even the garden centres are ready to open. After all this is the one day devoted to spoiling mom.  A simpler way would be to think of Mother’s Day as a time to reflect on what your mother means to you.  Do you feel gratitude for her sacrifices and her love for you? Spoil her because you choose to not out of public guilt.

However, for some, this day could be a challenge, especially if conflict has walked between you.  Perhaps mom is your best friend and confidant. Moms overall are those special people who are always there for you and love you regardless, others are not so lucky. Mother’s Day for many then can be particularly painful especially those recently bereft, for it can be a time of heartache and pain.  A bit like pulling the band aide off a wound. The grief felt around these special days can often feel as fresh as when the person died.

Regardless of what Mother’s Day means to you; it is a Day in North America when we all celebrate our mothers, young and old, good or bad. We purchase the well worded card and flowers, a special book or chocolates. Mother’s Day brunch is always a popular one.

I always felt this guilt because I didn’t conform. Mother’s Day for me was one of dread.  I ran into trouble when I took mom for brunch. The place was never right or there was nothing on the menu to please. After years of this hurt, I chose not to put myself through this. I decided to celebrate Mother’s Day another way and another day. I always purchased a thoughtful card, for those I knew she loved to read. I would always take time to call and wish her Happy Mother’s Day. Then when the weather was warmer and the garden centres were well stocked with colourful plants, we would celebrate. My gift to her was the purchase of plants she loved.  I enjoyed this endeavor more.  I believe she did too for this way she could enjoy the flowers all season long.

I share this with you to let you know that you do not have to conform either. When you are in mourning you certainly don’t need to be reminded that the person is no longer there. However, it does help to acknowledge them on these special occasions – it is part of the healing and tears and sadness are allowed.

It may take a little up front planning.   Decide ahead time just how you would like the day to unfold. This can help be helpful to you as you get to control the day. If you were the one to always host Mother’s day with your siblings you may prefer to not host it this year. Discuss your reasons with them, they may be relieved. Perhaps you decide to go the cemetery together. Very often there are Mother’s Day services planned where you can be surrounded by others so you don’t feel so alone and can feel supported and comforted. This can be both emotional but cathartic too.

Perhaps this is a day where you do nothing except take care of yourself. You may wish to start the day by honoring your Mother, lighting a candle and sitting in quiet reflection or journaling. Allow the tears and whatever emotions you may feel to be there. You could even purchase flowers for your in her honor. Take a warm bath. Go for a walk in nature. Call a friend and chat about what you may be experiencing. Make this a guilt free day. No “what ifs or “should haves” allowed.

Of course it can be harder if you have children who will want to celebrate the day with you. You could share what you would like to happen ahead of time. A simple get together could be an opportunity for them to share with you what their grandmother meant to them. This could be healing for all as the memories are shared. Expect tears to fall but laughter will show up to lighten your mood.

You never know, this may be the year where you create your family’s new Mother’s Day ritual, allowing you to take full control of the day.

Five Mother’s Day Survival Tips

1.  Check the date & plan ahead

2. Decide to celebrate or not

3.  Make it a guilt free day

4.  Take time out for you

5.  Create a new Ritual